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Forums Frequent flyer programs Other frequent flyer schemes Safety-wise, are there airlines you would or wouldn’t fly?

  • Lady London 2,112 posts

    I’ll start the ball rolling on airline safety.

    Would you be happy flying Air China, China Eastern, China Southern longhaul?

    Super Secret Stuff 363 posts

    Safety wise Chinese aviation is pretty good, they’re trying hard to create their own home grown aircraft so they desperately want a good reputation. Therefore safety wise, I wouldn’t be concerned

    I’d never fly on them due to service levels and the elephant in the room, china as a whole…

    The only aircraft to be careful of is the C919. As it’s only certified in china, that of course means you won’t fly long haul on it

    freckles 176 posts

    Flew to China a good few years ago and whilst I can’t remember exactly which one(s) I flew, I did use them both to/from London and internally. No problems with them (having said that it was an organised group tour with a UK company that would carefully vet who they used with a view to safety etc).
    Interestingly, I seem to remember being told that although many of them are there own brands, they are all in fact the same (state) owned.

    BA Flyer IHG Stayer 2,169 posts

    EASA has a list of airlines not allowd to fly into the EU. FAA the same for the US

    I wouldn’t fly any airline on either of those lists.

    Not wanting to fly on ana airline because of service levels is a different (but understandable) matter entirely – see e.g. the discussion on Vueling today and TAP previously – people say they won’t flying those because of their service levels not because they are unsafe.

    Cat 114 posts

    Air China and China Southern both get 7/7 on Airline Ratings. Eastern gets only 3/7, which would make me nervous.

    Otherwise, I avoid Aeroflot, I’m wary of internal flights in Indonesia, and I’d really rather Precision Air renamed themselves Accuracy Air before I flew them again.

    Also, I’d never fly TAP again, but that’s more because if I ever have another journey like the one I had with them to Madeira, I will be a danger to myself and everyone else around me… So, kind of safety related.

    phantomchickenz 333 posts

    I’ve done all of the above Chinese airlines, sometimes you just can’t argue with the price.

    I’ve also been on a Qantas flight where the engine flaked out just after takeoff from LAX (quite the sight from the exit row seeing flames shooting out at night!), and this was only a few months after they lost a door to the hold mid flight. So from my minuscule sample size, perhaps Qantas should be avoided?

    Super Secret Stuff 363 posts

    EASA has a list of airlines not allowd to fly into the EU. FAA the same for the US

    I wouldn’t fly any airline on either of those lists.

    Not wanting to fly on ana airline because of service levels is a different (but understandable) matter entirely – see e.g. the discussion on Vueling today and TAP previously – people say they won’t flying those because of their service levels not because they are unsafe.

    No Chinese airlines are banned in the EU. I would take that as the more definitive list. The FAA haven’t exactly shown there competence recently…

    Super Secret Stuff 363 posts

    I’ve done all of the above Chinese airlines, sometimes you just can’t argue with the price.

    I’ve also been on a Qantas flight where the engine flaked out just after takeoff from LAX (quite the sight from the exit row seeing flames shooting out at night!), and this was only a few months after they lost a door to the hold mid flight. So from my minuscule sample size, perhaps Qantas should be avoided?

    Qantas doesn’t have a great safety record, some of it bad luck as they were the first to have a380 engine issues. Nothing fatal in decades. Again partly luck.

    Just remember that flying is safer than driving or walking down the street and you quickly realise, is it worth a panic?

    Aston100 1,425 posts

    I’ve seen some good prices with those (and other) Chinese carriers recently.
    Tempting.

    Sam 97 posts

    Not safety related but I’d fly China Southern again. I wouldn’t fly Air China, the food was truely terrible and I’m Chinese and not picky

    Richie 1,020 posts

    Any that fly over the Nazca Lines.

    memesweeper 1,268 posts

    Hard “no” to Bangkok Airways from me. I witnessed the aftermath of a dash-8 crash on Koh Samui a long time ago – severe pilot error.

    Lion Air – no.

    Other Indonesian airlines – maybe, but I’ll take some convincing.

    737-max – no (give it a few years without incident and I might reconsider to “maybe”)

    Not likely to cause a crash with loss of all souls but Ryanair’s use of rickety, steep skysteps in one reason I avoid them. Speed over safety and comfort – no thanks.

    ChrisBCN 261 posts

    I would fly any airline certified by the EASA. I am still actively avoiding the 737 Max though… I said on here some 6 months ago they were due another accident – and it happened with the Alaska door popping out. That would have been extremely serious/deadly if it happened at cruising altitude, thankfully there was a little luck.

    I know some will say ‘look how many safe flights it’s had’ but you are missing the point. It’s a dog of a plane made under a terrible safety culture.

    JDB 4,515 posts

    I would fly any airline certified by the EASA. I am still actively avoiding the 737 Max though… I said on here some 6 months ago they were due another accident – and it happened with the Alaska door popping out. That would have been extremely serious/deadly if it happened at cruising altitude, thankfully there was a little luck.

    I know some will say ‘look how many safe flights it’s had’ but you are missing the point. It’s a dog of a plane made under a terrible safety culture.

    A friend who is in the trade recently flew on the Max and was invited into the cockpit after the flight. He was astonished by how antiquated the whole cockpit appeared. The crew generally flew the old 737’s but had taken the ‘conversion’ course and it was their third Max flight. They explained various aspects of how the Max worked, one of which is that the aircraft/computer adjusts the angle of the approach so as to make it appear to the crew the same ‘view’ as if they were on the normal 737. I have probably explained it very badly as I’m totally non-technical, but I find the whole concept of the need for a computer to ‘fake’ the positioning of the aircraft terrible. The crew weren’t exactly that comfortable either, as they said if anything goes wrong, they don’t have the right data or visual to take the appropriate corrective actions.

    The starting point of fitting the wrong engines seemed bad, but all the adjustments that have to be made by technology to correct that are bad enough but when added to the terrible and really basic manufacturing defects it doesn’t inspire confidence.

    Ryanair has demonstrated that in their market, cost is everything so even having an aircraft with a bad rep may barely hurt them for now and there’s no doubting that they are operationally a brilliant airline, but they are betting the whole ranch on the Max when there must be a material risk that regulators stop allowing it to fly if there are further incidents.

    ChrisBCN 261 posts

    The starting point of fitting the wrong engines seemed bad, but all the adjustments that have to be made by technology to correct that are bad enough but when added to the terrible and really basic manufacturing defects

    It’s more a 737 Frankenstein to me. I think it should have been withdrawn some time ago, but I also can’t see how that could happen (the impact it would have on the global marketplace for aircraft for one).

    Agreed about Ryanair, I have to fly them from time to time so I know I will end up on a Max at some point. I think it’s a remote possibility that the Max will be pulled by regulators permanently at some point which would leave their growth plans screwed for 5-10 years. Although that’s a very remote chance, it’s also a high risk for them.

    Colin MacKinnon 289 posts

    Qantas is still one of the world’s safest airlines, and has never lost a passenger in a jet airliner incident – maybe the only long-established airline with that record.

    They’ve had a few very close calls – the A380 out of Singapore was one. But as the old saying goes; would you rather fly with a lucky pilot, or a good pilot!

    can2 531 posts

    I had no problem with AirChina, felt totally safe.

    I’d never ever fly with any Nepalese airline such as Buddha Air. I wanted it so badly to take the Everest flight, did not have the courage. At all.

    Metty 79 posts

    No airlines I’d avoid, but having a fascination for accident reports may have been a factor in being slightly anxious back in the 90s on an Air China 737 Beijing-Xi’an where the crew – in perfect English – announced that we would ‘give it a go’ at Xi’an as the visibility was <100m in fog. Suffice to say that we did a missed approach and diverted all the way back to Beijing and departed again a few hours later.

    Rui N. 840 posts

    Qantas is still one of the world’s safest airlines, and has never lost a passenger in a jet airliner incident – maybe the only long-established airline with that record.

    They’ve had a few very close calls – the A380 out of Singapore was one. But as the old saying goes; would you rather fly with a lucky pilot, or a good pilot!

    They haven’t lost one because they repaired a 747-400 that was beyond economic repair to maintain the record. No dead on that accident though, which shows how some of these stats are quite ridiculous.

    masaccio 739 posts

    These threads just tell me I have a very different attitude to risk than most people. Whilst I’d possibly think twice about flying an airline banned from the EU, driving to the airport is likely far more dangerous.

    As for the Chinese airlines, they are fine. And why would they not be? There are an awful lot of very wealthy Chinese people who will drive service standards higher and higher.

    TooPoorToBeHere 259 posts

    Moderate 737MAX avoider here. I’d probably fly it if I really wanted to get somewhere and there was no choice, but I wouldn’t put my family on one voluntarily and (for example) book Easyjet rather than Ryanair at the moment.

    The Russian and Iranian airlines without a proper spare parts supply would be an interesting prospect.

    Colin MacKinnon 289 posts

    Who cares about the airframe – as the saying goes, that’s the insurer’s problem!

    Qantas is still one of the world’s safest airlines, and has never lost a passenger in a jet airliner incident – maybe the only long-established airline with that record.

    They’ve had a few very close calls – the A380 out of Singapore was one. But as the old saying goes; would you rather fly with a lucky pilot, or a good pilot!

    They haven’t lost one because they repaired a 747-400 that was beyond economic repair to maintain the record. No dead on that accident though, which shows how some of these stats are quite ridiculous.

    Rui N. 840 posts

    They cared enough to pay hundreds of millions of dollars to repair an aircraft that was deemed as a hull loss, just to keep their record of no hull losses. Certainly insurance didn’t cover that.

    ChrisBCN 261 posts

    driving to the airport is likely far more dangerous

    Whilst you are correct, I’m sure when you drive to the airport you drive in as reasonably safe manner as is practical (you choose not to go 70 on a 30 road, you wear a seat belt, you don’t jump lights…).

    So when you get to the airport, why wouldn’t you choose to fly in as reasonably safe a manner as you could?

    You get my point? These are separate activities and you would limit your exposure to risk to a reasonable level in different ways for each activity.

    Super Secret Stuff 363 posts

    Have to agree with the max debate. Firm avoider of both Ryanair and the max. Never flown Ryanair but don’t think I’d like it. Can barely stand up in the 737s awful plane as is

    Much prefer easyJet

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